STUDYING STUDENTS

A COLLEGE WRITING EXERCISE TOUCHES THE SOUL OF EDUCATION

Their heads are bowed at their desks like the flowers I have given them. This is an in-class writing assignment: write a page on what the flower smells like. It is an exercise in stream of consciousness for my students at Long Island University's Southampton College. The school is small and unadorned, spread out on a rise overlooking a bay; it is about to come in to flowers of its own in the reluctant spring thaw.

Write what it smells like; go into the past; follow your nose. This is what you will do as writers. You will plunder the past...

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